By Keith Idec
Oscar De La Hoya wasn’t specific Sunday night, except to Tweet that it’s up to Bob Arum at this point to finalize a Vasyl Lomachenko-Jorge Linares fight.
De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions (Linares) and Arum’s Top Rank Inc. (Lomachenko) have made significant progress in negotiations for Lomachenko to challenge Linares for the Venezuelan’s WBA lightweight title May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York. De La Hoya characterized the deal as “getting close,” yet emphasized that there’s more work to be done.
Here’s the message De La Hoya sent out to his 1.8 million Twitter followers Sunday night: “As excited as anyone that big fight between @JorgeLinares and @vasyllomachenko is getting close. But it’s not done yet. And until lead promoter @bobarum picks up the phone and calls @makewar, nothing can proceed #makethecall #linareslomachenko
By @makeawar, De La Hoya referred to Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez’s Twitter handle.
The two sides have at least agreed that if Lomachenko-Linares comes to fruition that it wouldn’t air on ESPN at the same time as an HBO replay of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight title fight that night. Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) are set to fight again in an HBO Pay-Per-View main event May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Alvarez-Golovkin replay is expected to be packaged with a live fight May 12 as part of HBO’s broadcast.
Initially, Gomez and De La Hoya indicated Linares was more than willing to fight Lomachenko, just not the night of May 12. Now that they’ve agreed to allow Linares to fight that night, it apparently is a matter of finalizing the details to which De La Hoya alluded in his Tweet.
If Lomachenko-Linares materializes, it would afford Ukraine’s Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) an opportunity to become a world champion in a third weight class. The highly skilled southpaw owns the WBO super featherweight title and previously held the WBO featherweight championship.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.